Everyone – businesses included – like to think they’re special. That they have a unique product or service that sets them apart, and some people just “don’t get it”.

While that may be true in some cases, the reality is that there is often a gap between their ability to talk to people outside of their business about what really sets them apart.

Plumbers, electricians, construction companies, boutique professional service firms, and others each have specialized education and experience that makes them an expert in their fields.

But these organizations don’t always have the ability to take that specialized education and simplify it for customers who need, or don’t know they need those services.

Content marketing can lead someone to recognize a problem or need in their business that they would have otherwise been unaware of

If you are not taking a proactive approach to simplifying your communication, you could be missing out on attracting new customers.

Content marketing involves the creation and distribution of relevant content that provides value to your business’s target audience.

This content can be shared with prospective clients in many forms: stories and advertorials, blog posts, white papers, case studies, how-to guides, etc. The main purpose of content marketing is to offer consumers value by presenting a solution to their needs, influencing the buying cycle.

The main difference between traditional marketing methods and content marketing tactics is how each strategy affects the buying cycle for consumers.

Content marketing, or pull tactics, aim to increase consumer awareness and provide helpful information about the product or service your business offers as a solution. The benefit of content marketing is that it may lead consumers to recognize a problem or need in their lives that they would have otherwise been unaware of.

This will draw them into your business when they are ready to buy, rather than knocking on doors or cold calling to try and convince someone to buy something from you now.

Publishing valuable content will lead consumers to discover your business and product offerings as they search for solutions to the problem they are facing.

By making content available to consumers, your business will communicate an awareness of consumer needs, humanizing your brand with a personality that is friendly and helpful, as well as creating the opportunity for customers to form a relationship with you.

Content that is relevant to the needs of consumers and offers them a valuable solution establishes your business as a thought leader in your industry, which helps build a trusting relationship with consumers.

Attaining this level of credibility will lead consumers to prefer your goods and services over alternative solutions, since they are aware of the unique value proposition offered by your business: that you are the knowledgeable experts in your field.

If the content your business releases is designed to be a mix of time-sensitive and evergreen pieces, your business’s content library will still be relevant to consumers as time passes. High-traffic content will also improve search engine rankings, and the consistent release of content can serve as a continuous source of interested consumers.

Content marketing is an effective strategy to interact with consumers and introduce them to your business’s brand. By providing consumers with value before they even visit your store, you are building positive relationships and connections to your brand, resulting in long-lasting customer loyalty and brand equity for your business.

John MacDonald is the Director of Business Development with the Business Examiner News Group. Call him at 604.751.0819, or email BEDigital@businessexaminer.ca.